Springwell House Open Air School


We have been sent the following description of this school:


"Here is some information about another Open Air school, situated on the North Side of Clapham Common, London, SW11


"As I suffered repeatedly with bronchitis from when I was born, our doctor decided to send me to Springwell House Open Air School. The year was 1947 and I was seven years old, I remained there until 1951 and then left and went to Aristotle secondary middle school. The school was originally for children with TB and other breathing problems such as asthma, in my case the fresh air worked I never had bronchitis again.


"The class rooms were like bandstands with three open sides and raised from the ground they placed around a playground at the back of a large Georgian house.


"In the winter we were given a blanket a pencil and a chalk board as the ink use to freeze, the only time we went into the main house was for three meals a day and if there was fog. After lunch we were made sleep on metal framed canvas stretchers in the open.

The Headmistress was Mrs Bentley, children could start aged 5 and leave at 14, the classes were of mixed gender, we covered all the basic subjects plus woodwork and gardening, we grew a lot of the food we ate.


"You progressed through the classes by ability not age because some children missed a lot of there class work due to illness, we had a full time nurse to deal with any health problems and carry out regular check ups on each child.


"Most of the children who lived beyond local walking distance were brought to school in LCC single deck buses."



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